Tommy John Comeback Kids: Are Edinson Volquez and Jordan Zimmermann Ready To Dominate?
By Matt Carpenter
The revolving door of Tommy John patients continues this year. As Adam Wainwright and Stephen Strasburg sit on the shelf, Joe Nathan returns. A couple of talented rebuilt arms returned late last season and can be had for bargain basement prices that could turn into fantasy gold.
Edinson Volquez had a breakout season in 2008, when he posted 17 wins, to go along with a 3.21 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 206 strikeouts. His 2009 campaign was derailed when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. After returning in late 2010, Volquez had a 4.31 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and impressive 9.62 K/9. It is often said that it is the second year back from surgery when a pitcher’s command returns and if that is the case with Volquez, he could be in for a big year.
Another talented youngster, Jordan Zimmermann returned from Tommy John surgery in late 2010. The 24 year old reached the majors in only two years and is a strikeout per inning guy that has been flying below the radar since the drafting of Stephen Strasburg. Before he went down in 2009, Zimmermann boasted a 4.63 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and healthy 9.1 K/9. His minor league numbers are staggering, including a career Triple-A ERA of 1.61 and WHIP under 1.00.
According to Mock Draft Central, Zimmermann is the 185th player off the board and Volquez is all the way down at 266 and is going undrafted in many leagues. Strikeout per inning guys usually can’t be found this far in the draft which provides tremendous value even if they do struggle in ERA and WHIP. When you reach this portion of the draft, you are drafting upside and there are no other pitchers this late with as much upside as Volquez and Zimmermann.
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